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  1. #11

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    I figure a monorail would be a good place for me to start, maybe even a bag bellows since they are slightly easier to make than a folded bellows, and certainly easier than a tapered folded bellows.

    ANd if she knows exactly what style she wants, then jump right in and start cutting. You might also find some plans from Barry Young (a member here) and he might have the odd metal bits made for you to complete the camera. Sorry I forget his contact info but it is scattered throughout the forum if you search for him.

  2. #12

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    What Steve said about Rayment Kirby's site.
    Expletive Deleted!

  3. #13

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    If you have the wood, you just need the hardware. For a first-time camera, I would probably buy an old, broken clunker off of Ebay and salvage the standards/hardware that came with it.

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by sangetsu View Post
    If you have the wood, you just need the hardware. For a first-time camera, I would probably buy an old, broken clunker off of Ebay and salvage the standards/hardware that came with it.
    What he says about hardware.
    But, being hardheaded and obstinate I'd wander down to the hobby shop or big box store & pick up some brass or aluminum angle and sheet & start filing away 'til I had something that looked right(to me) Once it's polished up use a clear coat to keep it from tarnishing & go.
    I just realized that most(all) cameras I've seen have had the hardware on corners surface mounted. It would be different if they were inset so the surface of the metal & wood were even. Me, I'm going to use box joints.
    Expletive Deleted!

  5. #15

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    http://www.onlinemetals.com for those that might need to order metal and plastic in the USA.

  6. #16

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    Hi Jenny,

    Having gone through the process of designing and building an 8 x 20 camera a couple of years ago, I can safely say that it can be a complicated and long process to go through depending on how exact you want things to be and how dedicated you are to the final look of the product. I used Makori (very similar to Mahogany) and it worked very well.

    Assuming you have the tools (table saw, good router, access to a planer/jointer) and the experience in wood working, it can be a very enjoyable experience. If you don't have the tools, you can do what Jim Fitzgerald did with the two cameras he built and do it all by hand in his apartment (but he's slightly crazy as some of us know). Contact him if you want his advice - he will be glad to talk about it.

    You can do everything basically from scratch including making your own bellows which is what I did. or you can do like some have suggested and get an old beat up camera cheap and salvage the parts. After going throught the experience, I would recommend that latter and use what you can fine from other cameras. It will make the process much easier and getting the metal parts and pieces will contribute to probably a tighter fitting and operating camera. If I had to do it all over again, that is the way I would go.

    Regarding the camera type, there are basically three different types to consider - a monorail type (like a Bender), a drop bed (like an old Kodak or Korona), and a double or triple extension bed (like a deardorf or newer modern types). The monorail will be less flexible in the field but will likely be the easiest to build. The drop bed will be the easier to build from scratch than the Deardorf style but may have stability problems with long lenses. The Deardorf style will likely be the most stable to use but more complicated to build. Just my 2 cents worth.

    Regarding building your own 4 x 5 camera (as opposed to building one 8 x 10 or larger) - buying a used 4 x camera from Ebay is not expensive and you may actually be spending more to make one yourself. If you want to build it for the whole experience and have your own hand made camera to use, that's a different thing altogether. There is something about using your own camera that you spent all that time working on it yourself.

    Hope this helps. Good luck in your experience.

  7. #17

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    Dec 2008
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    Maybe a tip for the bellows: on ebay they sell good new chinese bellows for several diferent camera's for below/around $ 75,-

    I am planning to build a Shen Hao PTB 54 from Brazil wood.

    Peter

  8. #18

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    What exactly do you have?

    "weather treated mahogany"

    Never heard of it. What is it? Mahogany is one of those names that gets attached to a lot of trash wood. There is only one real mahogany.

    The wood is the least expensive component. Yould be better off buying some really nice walnut or cherry or pattern grade Honduras mahogany.

  9. #19

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    Jumping back on the forum here...

    I'm going down a similar road myself. I have had an itch to build a 4x5 for a while and finally decided to scratch it. I'm basing mine off the Rayment Kirby camera. There's just enough info there to get you started. However many of the more detailed bits--like the focusing rack--are "left as an exercise for the reader" so to speak. Happily I have access to CAD software & have been picking at it when time permits. I think I have the rack figured out.

    Anyway, I am obviously of the just build what you are after camp. Half the point for me in this is to build it myself & see if I can pull it off. Now that I've gotten really deep into pondering the whole thing, the mechanism doesn't seem all that complex. The main tricks will be patience & precision.

    I possibly have access to a bunch of "figured teak" for a final camera (I'm going to build a trial one out of cheap material first). Any idea if that's as suited to the purpose as "normal" teak?

  10. #20
    richard ide's Avatar
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    If you Google Mahogany species, there are several different woods that are considered to be mahogany. I have used four and have seen two or three others. All considered to be Mahogany but with different characteristics.
    Richard

    Why are there no speaker jacks on a stereo camera?

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